Top Tips for a more Sustainable Christmas

Top Tips for a more Sustainable Christmas

3f76467f6ecb8738ce90cfe32be97d4a.jpegTop tips for a more sustainable Christmas – starting with your tree

At Christmas time we can all generate way too much waste, so let’s think of ways we can enjoy a more sustainable festive season. It’s also a good opportunity to support local businesses that are offering alternative gift ideas and because they are on our doorstep, they generate less of a carbon footprint too.

A Family Pass
Gifting tickets is a nice way to reduce plastic and means you’re giving your loved one something to look forward to in the new year.
A Freedom of the Line ticket for the Severn Valley Railway makes a lovely gift; combine it with a day out at Arley Arboretum.
If you have a little ‘monkey’ in your family, how about buying them a Go Ape voucher where they can swing in the trees at Wyre Forest? Or you could buy an animal handling experience at   Dudley Zoo, West Midland Safari Park or WILD Zoological Park.

VIP Animal Experience
For a unique Christmas gift, that helps support the animals too, West Midland Safari Park offer VIP Experiences like a Junior Keeper for the Day, or the chance to feed the Lions or Cheetahs!
Dudley Zoo offers a special opportunity to work with some of the most endangered animals in the world, with their Zoo Keeper Experiences. You also have the chance to adopt an animal. Plus you can be assured that the money spent goes towards animal conservation.       
c9fbf693dd7e28eb13376ca970876c62.jpgWild Zoological Park in Bobbington, offers a 20 minute mini VIP experience for £30 which would suit younger children. Wolverley Animal Centre give you the chance to cuddle a meerkat. What child wouldn't love that!

Fund a Hobby
Grandparents often struggle to know what to buy youngsters, but they love to help out the family. Perhaps they could pay for your child to try out a new club this term? If you’re looking for local information, see the Clubs section of the Raring2go! website.

Think of the Trees
Forestry England sells ‘Grown in Britain’ certified Christmas trees in forests across the country. By choosing a Grown in Britain-certified tree, you’ll be sure you are getting tree grown in the UK and you’ll also be helping reduce the risk of unwanted pests spreading to this country. Visit to find out more. Remember to recycle your ‘real’ tree after Christmas. Mary Stevens Hospice, Stourbridge, are arranging a tree recycling scheme again this year. You could also look out for FSC-certified Christmas cards and wrapping   paper, which have been sourced from well managed forests and are recyclable. 

Make and Create
How about encouraging the children to make your family’s Christmas cards, decorations or DIY Christmas crackers for the table. Avoid buying lametta (single thread) tinsel which isn’t recyclable, can be difficult to remove from branches, and can pose a hazard to pets who might get tangled in it or swallow it. If you do buy cards and wrapping paper, look 56f9cc645ad529264094bed1cafe2e3c.jpgfor the FSC logo to be sure that your cards and wrapping paper have come from well managed forests that support local people, or give old newspapers a second life as Christmas wrapping paper – and make sure to recycle everything when you’re done.
Eco Maniax store in Stourbridge will be selling a range of ‘green’ Christmas gift ideas to give you inspiration including DIY Cracker Kits.

If you want to go that little bit extra, opt for a potted tree

Grown to around 3 to 4 feet tall, potted trees may be smaller than your typical Christmas tree but they can literally last a lifetime. Once they’ve been the focal point of your living room for the holiday season, potted trees make fantastic patio plants with a little love and care. Or, if you have enough garden space, plant your tree to grow and thrive after the holidays– it’ll also help provide food for wildlife like siskins, who love to eat seeds from spruce trees.

 Recycle your tree

There’s nothing sadder than the site of a real Christmas tree in a plastic bin bag on the curb ready to go to landfill after the holidays. After the last decoration has been taken down and thoughts of Christmas are a distant memory, visit your local authority website or Recycle Now to find out how to recycle your tree.  

Mary Stevens Hospice in Stourbridge are once again running their 'freecycle' scheme to collect your real tree after Christmas, in exchange for a donation to the Hospice. KEMP Hospice are also offering a Tree Collection service on 14th & 15th January (if there are any businesses that can help out with the collection, do get in touch with KEMP).

Check out the library: your local library will have a whole host of books on handmade Christmas gifts and decorations, craft ideas, baking books, and Christmas art activities for children. 

Raring2go! readers shared their own ideas on our Facebook page: 

"Make your own pickles as gifts or bake some cakes - either for Christmas or later in the year. Could also do an 'I owe you' time voucher and spend they day together somewhere."
Janie Chapman

"Make fabric gift bags to reuse. Use brown paper for wrapping and get the kids to decorate it!" Vicky Caulfield

"We bought fabric gift bags last year. Saved loads of wrapping stress, as well as time and they are a long-term investment. They were made by the daughter of Fruits of the Forest Ruth."

"Don’t buy tat random gifts that gets thrown away. Buy experiences, days out or save the date for family time."
Cathy Davis

"Give memories rather than things." 
Clare Benson

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